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P1,000 polymer bill wins ‘Banknote of the Year Award’

The P1,000 polymer banknote of the Philippines was awarded the “Banknote of the Year Award” by global non-profit organization International Banknote Society (IBS) in 2022, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Thursday.

According to the BSP, the polymer banknote is the first Philippine banknote to win the award, as it bested finalists from Algeria, Barbados, Egypt, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

“The Philippines’ successful design in eye-pleasing blue combines an endangered species with an environmental motif,” the IBS was quoted as saying in a statement released by the central bank.

The banknote features a Philippine eagle and the national flower Sampaguita, versus the earlier designs of the same denomination which feature Philippine heroes Vicente Lim, Josefa Llanes Escoda, and Jose Abad Santos.

The reverse side shows the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park which was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), along with the T’nalak weave design of the T’boli people and the South Sea Pearl.

The design was first revealed to the public in December 2021, made by the BSP, and approved by the National Historical Institute. It was released in April 2022.

The new design of the P1,000 polymer banknote was earlier met with criticism, with stakeholders asking the central bank to reconsider the new design of the bill.

Responding to concerns that heroes are being erased in favor of flora and fauna, then-BSP Governor and now Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the central bank has continued to feature them both in bills.

“We believe both are important to cultural preservation and promoting our heritage. Both are worthy of being celebrated through our coins and banknotes,” Diokno said.

The BSP earlier said it will test the polymer banknotes with an initial few hundred million pieces, which will have a similar material to those used in countries such as Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/RSJ, GMA Integrated News